It's fun to think about plants not just as decorations but as functioning parts of our yard's ecosystem that attract wildlife to the garden. We have hummingbirds, tons of bees, and many monarch butterflies. The kids love it! Though we're very laissez-faire with the garden and never put chemicals on it or even water it much!
And in time it will be as though men had never come to this perfect corner of the world-never called it paradise on earth, never despoiled it with their dream factories; and in the golden hush of the afternoon all that will be heard will be the flittering of dragonflies, and the murmur of hummingbirds as they pass from bower to bower, looking for a place to sup sweetness.
They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.
There is a difference between our wisdom and nature's simplicity. That reflects the burden of a complex intelligence. A complex intelligence like ours is impotent compared to the intelligence of a monarch butterfly migrating from Canada to Mexico, or the intelligence of hummingbirds that have co-evolved with the flowers all along their migration route. That seems so simple; it just happens, it just unfolds.
Alison Hawthorne Deming
Up north, you could find these radio stations with no name on the dials that played pre-rock 'n' roll things - country blues. We would hear Slim Harpo or Lightnin' Slim and gospel groups, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. I was so far north, I didn't even know where Alabama was.
When I did the Abyssinian mass, I went through the whole history of the church music and the gospel music, even with the Anglo American hymns, the Afro American hymns, the spirituals and how it developed, up to Thomas Dorsey and the Dixie Hummingbirds, going through the history of the music, jazz musicians.
How do you view God in a desert? There's two types of birds. There's vultures, and there's hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat. The other lives off the beautiful, sweet, nectar in a particular flower, on a particular desert plant, in the same desert. They both find what they're looking for. Do you know - take it all the way back into the Old Testament - and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah, to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father, God.
Question four: What book would you give to every child? Answer: I wouldn't give them a book. Books are part of the problem: this strange belief that a tree has nothing to say until it is murdered, its flesh pulped, and then (human) people stain this flesh with words. I would take children outside and put them face to face with chipmunks, dragonflies, tadpoles, hummingbirds, stones, rivers, trees, crawdads. That said, if you're going to force me to give them a book, it would be The Wind In The Willows, which I hope would remind them to go outside.
I spent my summers at my grandparents' cabin in Estes Park, literally next door to Rocky Mountain National Park. We had a view of Longs Peak across the valley and the giant rock beaver who, my granddad told me, was forever climbing toward the summit of the mountain. We awoke to mule deer peering in the windows and hummingbirds buzzing around the red-trimmed feeders; spent the days chasing chipmunks across the boulders of Deer Mountain and the nights listening to coyotes howling in the dark.
Mary Taylor Young
I breathe in the soft, saturated exhalations of cedar trees and salmonberry bushes, fireweed and wood fern, marsh hawks and meadow voles, marten and harbor seal and blacktail deer. I breathe in the same particles of air that made songs in the throats of hermit thrushes and gave voices to humpback whales, the same particles of air that lifted the wings of bald eagles and buzzed in the flight of hummingbirds, the same particles of air that rushed over the sea in storms, whirled in high mountain snows, whistled across the poles, and whispered through lush equatorial gardens... air that has passed continually through life on earth. I breathe it in, pass it on, share it in equal measure with billions of other living things, endlessly, infinitely.